Day eight: touristing
Salamanca to Zamora
Though when I got off my bike after just 60km, I felt quite unsatisfied with the short ride, having had the chance to mooch around Zamora, I’m now more than happy.
The ride today was straight, pretty flat and back on the N630. Enough time for one new playlist, one podcast, one café con leche (I can’t get enough of the coffee out here) and plenty of Holas to the local Sunday cyclists. It almost felt like cycling back home early on a Sunday morning – there was a cool breeze and I barely broke a sweat!
I made it to my destination in just two and a half hours. After a long conversation (through google translate) with the brilliant Ascension, my Airbnb host, I took to the streets of Zamora to find some lunch. And I was in luck – I struck upon La Bici Verde (I’m drawn to anything bikes), a great local restaurant which even had its own pale ale. Bingo.
After a delicious tuna lunch, sitting outside in the sun, people watching, I wandered the old town admiring the many beautiful Romanesque churches and leafy plazas. Zamora is somewhere I’m sure I wouldn’t have discovered if I wasn’t on my bike. It’s tiny – perfect for an overnight stop and even more perfect when you can balance a visit with a day riding.
On top of the brilliant cycling, one of the pleasures of this trip is this balance – the perfect combination of exploring countryside through exercise together with discovering cities and towns that are off the beaten track. What’s more, because you’re only staying one night, you’re always forced to make the most of it.
I’ll head out again in an hour or so. The street parallel to where I’m staying is the place to be for tapas bars according to Ascension. And when you’re here for one night only, well it’d be rude not to!